A new study of more than 200 women in technology reveals a hypocrisy with which many will be woefully familiar: A booming industry built on the promise of a new world for all of us systematically (and not-so secretly) shuts down, harasses, and discriminates against women.
Or, to be more accurate, the men who make up 85 percent of the industry do that. Still, a survey of women primarily in the Bay Area with at least ten years experience in the technology sector called Elephant in the Valley does reveal some very shocking numbers and stories.
Those come from women who "hold positions of power and influence," from venture capital to startups to Apple and Google. Their ages ranged fairly broadly, but most were parents and over 40. And even if it shouldn't be surprising that disparaging remarks toward women (87 percent) are concomitant with a culture that permits men to straight-up harass them (60 percent), the breadth of mistreatment is particularly unsettling.
75 percent were asked about family life, marital status and children in interviews.
84 percent of women had been told that they were too “aggressive" (with half hearing that on multiple occasions
Skipping unconscious bias altogether (which 88 percent reported), let's start with the way men reportedly police women's speech in tech offices. 84 percent of women were told that they were too "aggressive," which, if you don't get why that's sexist, just imagine a man being called aggressive and it not being a compliment.
66 percent felt excluded from social and networking opportunities because of their gender.
Then, of course, harassment gets less "1000 cuts" and more one or two quick blows. 60 percent of the group reported sexual harassment, with 65 percent of unwanted sexual advances coming from higher-ups. Oh, and, as for resolution, 60 percent said they were unsatisfied with the outcome.
60 percent reported unwanted sexual advances, two-thirds of which came from a superior.
39 percent of women who were harassed did nothing for fear of retribution.
You can also listen to two of the study's co-authors speak with Re/code's Kara Swisher. Ellen Pao, who "failed" in her lawsuit against VC firm Kleiner Perkins, was the direct inspiration for the study. If it's as widely read and taken to heart as it ought to be, maybe Pao's work starts looking more like a success.